Style Advice
Shirt Fabrics for Style on the Move
By Aleks Cvetkovic
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When I was younger, truth be told I used to scoff at the idea of travel clothes – it never really occurred to me that travelling was an inherently uncomfortable thing to do. Now, though, as I near the milestone of 30-years-old, my somewhat grouchier, increasingly portly and creaky self finds travelling in any way shape or form distinctly uncomfortable, so anything that makes the process easier is a godsend.

Thomas Mason, evidently, are of the same disposition, because the house has specialised in shirting fabrics that make light work of travelling for years, whether long-haul flights or city-hopping commutes. At the centre of their offering sits the indispensable Journey collection, which as the name suggests is designed for people on the move. It’s a best-seller too, so clearly there’s something about it that does the job.

Journey is essentially superfine cotton or linen shirting woven with a high yarn count for a smooth, firm handle, which is then blessed by Thomas Mason’s unique Anti-Crease Formula. This produces a collection of fabrics that are remarkably resistant to crinkles and creases, and from which the creases fall out naturally at the end of the day. Beyond this, Journey fabrics, whether woven in perennial cotton or summery linen, retain all their natural thermo-regulative qualities too. In other words, Thomas Mason’s Journey collection will keep you looking sharp and feeling comfortable – no matter the travel at hand. Music to my ears.

A few words on styling, then. Travel shirts can afford to be relatively sporty, especially in today’s brave new world of ‘business casual’ dress codes, so slimmer fits, contemporary cutaway collars and single-cuffs suit Journey shirts best. There are checks and stripes galore to enjoy in the collection, with lots of bright colours and fun patterns, but a timeless foundation of sky blue, cream and soft white shirts that will take you anywhere should be your first ports of call. If you’re visiting a shirtmaker, keep in mind that when it comes to fabrics like Journey, a twill weave will perform better than plain-weaves like poplin.

I’m also a huge fan of Thomas Mason’s linens, and wear them from early spring right into late autumn. In many ways natural linen shirting is the direct opposite to a crease-resistant Journey shirt, but it has a charm all of its own, and the open-weave of linens will keep you cool in hot weather like nothing else. I’ve just received two made-to-order shirts from Drake’s, one in beige and one in navy, which I styled with long pointed collars and two pleated chest pockets for a work shirt-type look. They’re already firm favourites of mine, and highly recommended.

So, whether you’re cycling to work on a grey day, or jetting off somewhere tropical for a long weekend, Thomas Mason has the fabrics to keep you cool, calm and collected on the hop. And if anything can keep me cool, calm and collected at 4am in Gatwick Airport, it’s worth its weight in gold…

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